Friday, June 22, 2012

Poetry Friday & More Than a Number

Poetry Friday is here today!

Painting by Georgia VanDerwater 

Click on the orange arrow button to hear Barry sing!
(If you cannot see this graphic for any reason, just click here for the song.)

Sometimes a poem wants to be written.  That is how I feel about this one.  A couple of weeks ago, my friend Barry Lane (who wrote the only professional book I own that has lost its cover from use) and I began writing a couple of songs together via e-mail, SoundCloud, and iPhones.  It has been a true joy.

There are many tests and graphs and numbers flying around education-land these days, but we believe that the minds and souls of children rise above all numbers.  Children always have, are now, and always will be more than data.

Students - Write what you believe!  Write about what you know matters.  Write the song that keeps on singing in your heart.  If you don't, who will?

Teachers and Parents and other Grownups - If you like our song, we would be very grateful for you to share and encourage your friends and colleagues to do so on Facebook, Twitter, and other sites.  Feel free to link here or to the SoundCloud site, and please stay tuned for our forthcoming YouTube slideshow.

For the YouTube slideshow of MORE THAN A NUMBER, Barry Lane and I seek donations of joyful photos of children engaged in play, creation, exploration, joy, learning - immersion in activities of the child's own initiative... We need about 50 photos, and the slideshow will be a multicultural mix of beautiful children in love with life. If you are willing to share (only) one beautiful photo (landscape or easily croppable to landscape) of your child, please send it to me at amy at amylv dot com with a note of permission that we may use it in a YouTube slideshow of this song. Once we receive photos, we will choose which ones to use based on the mix of activities and children. Thank you so much for considering this request.

News as of Saturday:  I have a new post up at Sharing Our Notebooks.  Fourth Grader Grace McCormick shares her notebooks this week, and I am offering a giveaway of Ralph Fletcher's A WRITER'S NOTEBOOK for commenters.  Thank you!

Today's Poetry Friday Menu! 
If there seems to be a lag in posting during the day, please know it is because it is raining in Holland NY and this interferes with our internet service.  I will catch up between the raindrops!

Over at Crackles of Speech, Steven Withrow shares his original poem titled Once You've Wandered from Under Your Yellow Cabana, so perfect for this very hot week in Western New York.

At TeacherDance, Linda introduces us to Miss Beatrice Blossom and also to the child who still lives inside of Linda.  Warning: you will wish to have hollyhocks!

Charles Ghigna has two new poems to share this week.  At Bald Ego, you can read his serious poem inspired by his son's forest fire painting.  And at Snickers, Charles has posted a lighter poem inspired by one of his son's carvings.

Renee LaTulippe is in at No Water River with one of her famous poetry videos and snickerviews - this time with guest poet Joe Mohr and his poem "Flybrows."

It's good to have Ed DeCaria back at Think Kid, Think! with his original poem about that ol' summertime warning.  I, too, remember hearing all moms say,"Wait 30 minutes after eating before you swim!"

At The Drift Record, Julie Larios has "a link to a poem about a great, wide, beautiful wonderful something, plus a little commentary about getting to know it."  Such an important reminder!

Jama Rattigan has a rap by our own Father Goose, Charles Ghigna over at Alphabet Soup.  Or is it a wrap?  Stop on by for lunch, and you will find out!

Visit Robyn Hood Black at Read, Write, Howl for warm and beautiful Wordsworth "wren-dition" along with a related haiku, photograph, and artwork. Happy 28th anniversary to Robyn and her man-wren!

At Writing the World for Kids, Laura Purdie Salas has two posts for us today.  She, too, is sharing More Than a Number (thank you, Laura!) and for 15 Words or Less Thursday, her regular generous offering and comments includes a so-summertime photograph.

Liz Steinglass treats us to summer haiku and a reminder of the power of imagery in few syllables over at Growing Wild.

Over at The Opposite of Indifference, Tabatha has doctors on her mind as she heads off to Johns Hopkins for a post-op visit with her son.  This post is going straight to my doctor sister, and I send good thoughts to Tabatha and family.

Kerry Aradhya shares Kenn Nesbitt's funny poem about dancing Daniel at Picture Books and Pirouettes.

At Live, Love, Laugh, Irene Latham has posted an Elizabeth Bishop poem about "the state with the prettiest name" along with some of her own Florida memories. And off she goes now - safe travels, Irene!

Find Marjorie Evasco's lovely poem comparing writing poetry to folding origami at The Write Sisters.

Doraine Bennett shares two duck poems - one funny and one serious - along with two duck videos, over at Dori Reads. Quack!

At Paper Tigers, Marjorie tells about Wendy Morton and The Elder Project, someone and something so very beautiful that I cannot wait to read more about.

Over at My Juicy Little Universe, Heidi Mordhorst shares 9-year-old Duncan's true haiku, "Jack Frost's Reign" along with the rubric was used to score it.  Duncan - Have you ever been to the Buffalo, NY area?  Ol' Jack reigns here for months, just the way you write it!

Violet Nesdoly shares a texture-and-fabric-rich personal poem about changing her wardrobe to get ready for summer.  So true!

At Teaching Authors, April Halprin Wayland interviews poet David L. Harrison (who shares a writing exercise!) and offers a chance to win an autographed copy of his book COWBOYS.

Jone offers a refreshing list poem about summer break at Check It Out.

Joining us from this week's All Write Conference in Warsaw, Indiana, Mary Lee Hahn, from A Year of Reading, shares an original poem with a structure inspired by one of Ralph Fletcher's poems.

Over at the Florian Cafe, Douglas Florian offers a blues poem about the recession, and the one good thing that is remains.

Elaine Magliaro joyfully cools us all down at Wild Rose Reader with her poem Cool Pool.

At GottaBook, Greg Pincus shares an original poem today.  No whining!

Like Mary Lee, Maria at Teaching in the 21st Century also shares a "Good Old Days" poem, inspired by Ralph Fletcher's session at All Write.

Janet Squires highlights J.Patrick Lewis's book EDGAR ALLAN POE'S PIE: MATH PUZZLERS IN CLASSIC POEMS over at All About the Books.

Over at Mainely Write, Donna shares an original poem inspired by some recent conversations she has had about life's blessings.

Fats Suela offers two poems about the immigrant experience, one by Margaret Atwood, and one by Daljit Nagra, over at Gathering Books.

Diane Mayr has three poetry posts up today!  At Random Noodling, she shares two poems with an interesting use of space.  At Kurious Kitty's Kurio Kabinet, she shares a summer poem for June 21.  And over at Kurious K's Kwotes, she offers a quote about writing by Pamela Ross.

Betsy Hubbard from Teaching Young Writers was at the All Write conference in Indiana this week too, and her poems for today were inspired by that time...even a poem about the "Good Old Days!"

At On Point, Lorie Ann Grover shares an original haiku and photograph, and at readertotz, she has posted a favorite Lewis Carroll poem.  Soup's on!

If you have a poetry dish to share today, please just leave a note in the comments, and I will check in throughout the day to add your delicious link!

Please share a comment below if you wish.
To find a poem by topic, click here. To find a poem by technique, click here.
Like The Poem Farm on Facebook for more poems, articles, and poemquotes!


  1. Thanks for hosting, Amy! I love the song and your excellent lyrics.

    Today I have an original poem written in anticipation of New England's first heat wave of 2012:

    Steven Withrow

  2. It's a beautiful song/poem Amy and Barry. I heard it on Facebook first and shared immediately. Those final two lines make me sad. I am sharing an original poem about childhood play today, connecting serendipitously to your call for joyous play.

  3. Holy Moly! And double WOWZA WOWZA! Your new "More Than a Number" poem/song should be adopted by all school systems, public and private and homeschool, as their ANTHEM! "I am full of secrets a test can never know." Beautiful. Simply beautiful. I'm listening to it again and again right now. And forever.

    I have two new poems to share this week, a serious one inspired by my son's painting in reaction to the forest fires @ The Bald Ego blog
    and a lighter one about decision-making that was inspired by one of my son's carvings @ SNICKERS

  4. I've already said how much i love this song...but I'll say it again and again and again! This is so beautiful, and I love the YouTube project, too. :) Yay, you!

    And thanks for hosting PF. Today I have guest poet Joe Mohr with his poetry video for "Flybrows":

  5. Hi Amy. Thanks for hosting (and again for posting that song)!

    I'm back at TKT with an original poem -- a stern warning for summertime:


  6. Thank you for hosting, Amy. Over at The Drift Record this week I have a link to a poem about a great, wide, beautiful wonderful something, plus a little commentary about getting to know it.

  7. Love love love your song! Happy to hear you're making a video of it :).

    Today at Alphabet Soup I'm featuring a rap written by our own Father Goose, Charles Ghigna. And there are a few lettuce leaves involved:

    Thanks for hosting and have a great weekend!

  8. Thanks for hosting, Amy! Important message in those lyrics.

    I'm in with a Wordsworth "wren-dition" and a related haiku. "Tweet" me here:

  9. Thanks for hosting, Amy--I didn't know you were until after I wrote my post sharing "More Than a Number"! FAbulous song:>)

    I'm in at

    and I have 15 Words or Less poems at

    Happy POetry Friday!

  10. Hi Amy,
    Thanks for hosting and sharing your song.
    I have a few summer haiku at my blog Growing Wild:
    Happy Summer and Happy Poetry Friday!
    Liz Steinglass

  11. You seem to have boundless energy and creativity, Amy! My hat is off to you (again). Thanks for hosting!

    My son and I are on our way back to Johns Hopkins this morning for a post-op visit, so I've got doctors on my mind:

  12. Hi, Amy. Thanks for hosting today. Your poem is wonderful and rings so true to me. My oldest daughter is going into second grade, and parents are already talking about testing their kids for this program and that program. I struggle sometimes with what to do, but it is good to remember that all children should be valued for their gifts...whether academic or not :)

    Today I'm sharing a fun poem by Kenn Nesbitt called When Daniel Went Dancing...

  13. Love the song! Here's to everyone being more than a number.

    I've got an Elizabeth Bishop poem about the state with the prettiest name -- which is also the state I'm headed to this weekend! Thanks for hosting, Amy!

  14. Love you poem, Amy! So true . . .

    The Write Sisters are being gently folded (but not stapled) here:

  15. Wow, that's just about all I can say, wow!

  16. Your song is so true! Thanks for hosting,Amy. I have a couple of duck poems this week.

  17. I absolutely love your poem - and love it even more that it's a song! Will defintiely help spread the word and look forward to seeign the song plus slideshow!

    PaperTigers is in this week with a post from Sally highlighting the wonderful First Nations "Elder Project" in British Columbia, Canada, facilitated by poet Wendy Morton:

    Thank you for hosting

  18. Good morning and wow, it's great to be back! I'm sharing a haiku by Duncan, age 9, and the rubric which reduced it to a number. What a fantastic coincidence to find your song creation here (although I've sought it out on facebook because no link is appearing for me here.

    Thanks, Amy and Barry!

  19. Thank you for sharing this poem Amy. It speaks to so much that teachers are struggling with currently. I am sharing it with my administrators and colleagues.

  20. Thanks for this invite to the Farm, Amy. What a powerful poem! I'm sure it's the anthem of many a child.

    I'm sharing a personal poem about getting ready for summer. "The changing of the wardrobe" is here:


  21. Hi Amy,
    Wow, I love so much about "I Am More Than a Number," but this line especially resonates with me:
    >>if my whole school becomes a test
    where will I learn to dream<<

    Thanks for hosting today.
    I don't know if April Halprin Wayland shared our link with you yet: she has a great interview on our TeachingAuthors blog with David L. Harrison featuring one of his poems and a chance to win an autographed copy of his book COWBOYS!

  22. Dear Amy,

    Wonderful! Wonderful! I want you and Barry to come to our folk music club!

    Over at today, we are more than numbers--we're sharing poetry: an interview with poet David Harrison, one of his terrific poetry writing exercises, and for frosting on the cake, we're giving away an autographed copy of David's poetry book, COWBOYS--yee haw!

    xxx, April

    Thanks for hosting today!

  23. I love this collaboration, Amy. Happy Poetry Friday Day.
    I have an original list poem about summer break:

  24. Oops...sorry for repeating Carmela's message from TeachingAuthors! You can tell that I "jumped to comment"...


  25. A poem just for you from the Florian Cafe, where the iced coffe is free today!

  26. Amy,

    Thanks for doing the roundup this week.

    I love your poem. It expresses my feelings about education and children. It is so sad to see that prepping children for tests has become the focus of education these days. It's one of the main reasons that I'm so glad I retired from teaching.

    At Wild Rose Reader, I have an original summer poem titled "Cool Pool."

  27. I'm up with an original today...

    It Takes One to Know One

    Thanks for hosting. And love the song!

  28. Thanks for hosting.
    My selection is "Edgar Allan Poe's Pie: math puzzlers in classic poems written by J. Patrick Lewis and illustrated by Michael Slack

  29. The poem is wonderful, and its sentiment is a long-time battle I've had for kids. I think "numbers" suck on their shirts, hurt others, cry easily, can't concentrate and lack joy. I wish we could let them be kids. Thanks for sharing.
    My poem was going to be about something else today, but this came out instead. It was inspired by a couple of conversations I've had with others this week, as they noticed blessings in their lives.

  30. Hi there. Fats has a Poetry Friday contribution today. Sorry for being late. Here it is:

  31. My comment seems to have disappeared. I posted it this morning, but I never saw it! I'll simply leave the links now:

    Random Noodling

    Kurious Kitty

    Kurious K's Kwotes'
    This week's quote is by my friend, Pamela Ross, whom many of you know.

  32. Loved listening to the song last night, what an awesome opportunity! So glad you did this. My poems were inspired by the All Write conference the past two days.

  33. I love your song so much, the words and the music ~ I've probably listened to it at least 20 times since you posted it the other day on Facebook!

    I really enjoyed reading everyone's poems, too....

  34. Such a colorful blog! Thanks for hosting. I'm coming in late today with Tranquility at my blog, On Point. And at readertotz we have Beautiful Soup by Lewis Carroll.